Man U's Young banned for speeding

Braintree and Witham Times: England's Ashley Young faces a possible driving ban after admitting speeding. England's Ashley Young faces a possible driving ban after admitting speeding.

Manchester United and England footballer Ashley Young has been banned from driving for six months.

The 28-year-old was handed four penalty points today, having pleaded guilty through a solicitor to speeding at 71mph on a 50mph section of the M6 Toll in Warwickshire in March last year.

Magistrates sitting in Leamington Spa heard that Young already has nine points on his driving licence, having previously been convicted of speeding at 100mph on the M62 in West Yorkshire, making him liable for a ban under the rules on "totting-up" points.

Young had been given six points for an earlier offence in January last year and three points for another unspecified incident in 2011.

Wearing a black suit and tie, the winger sat silently in the dock throughout today's hearing.

Speaking before sentencing, in mitigation, his defence solicitor, Frances Coles-Harrington, said that at the time Young's Range Rover Vogue was clocked by a speed camera near the M6 Toll's junction with the M42 at 10am on March 7, the road was "quiet".

"He was driving on the toll road, it was quiet, and the speed was normally 70mph but had been reduced but not for anything in relation to an accident or any matter like that," she said.

Ms Coles-Harrington also criticised the Crown Prosecution Service's application for £405 costs, claiming that, had the winger been "another member of the public", he would be looking at lesser costs.

"In relation to the financial penalties I would ask for 28 days for Mr Young to make payment," she said.

"Just because Mr Young is who he is, £405 for an indication of a guilty plea - if it was another member of the public here today, they'd be hit with the usual application for £85 costs for a guilty plea, not £405."

Naila Iqbal, for the prosecution, said: "In relation to the court costs, those were calculated for an indicated guilty plea a day before trial so preparation for that trial had already been carried out - costs awarded after trial would be £625.

"So, whether it is Mr Young of Manchester United or a member of the public, the costs would have been the same."

Ms Coles-Harrington also urged the magistrates' bench to impose the minimum disqualification period, "because of his need for visiting his young children".

"Mr Young has family and two young children living in the South and his career takes him into the North of England," she said.

"To see and visit his children he needs a licence to be able to drive."

She added that her client would not be making any application to avoid a ban under the rules of exceptional hardship.

In front of a packed public gallery, magistrates fined Young £3,000 for the offence and ordered him to pay £405 costs and £120 victim surcharge.

The player, who told Wakefield Magistrates' Court last July that he was "deeply sorry" for speeding on the M62, spoke only to tell the magistrates he understood the charge, and to confirm his name, age and address.

Paul Tasker, chairman of the bench, told Young: "If you drive while disqualified you will be committing a serious offence and you may be sent to prison and disqualified again."

The footballer was also told he must now apply to the DVLA for a new licence, once the period of his ban has been served.

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